PHOTOS: Antique barn burns on Poverty Lane
Firefighters from five towns respond
LEBANON, NH - A 150-year-old barn from one of the original farms along Poverty Lane was gutted by fire late Saturday afternoon.
Homeowner Sue Ackerman had just finished mowing the multi-acre field alongside her home and was calling it a day when the fire broke out shortly before 6 p.m.
"It's a riding lawnmower and I had just finished mowing the lawn," a shaken Ackerman recalled as she stood with police officers amongst the flowers in her backyard and watched fire crews tear into the smoldering two-level structure that stood only about 30 feet from one end of her house.
The remains of the riding mower that started the blaze still smoking inside the barn
"I had put the lawnmower back into the barn, which is where it lives, and noticed it was smoking. I opened the hood and saw that it was on fire and ran inside and got fire extinguishers but I couldn't extinguish the fire so I called 911," Ackerman explained, adding, "There were some nerve-wracking moments before they got here trying to think about saving the house."
"Once the fire engaged with the frame of the barn the wood is so old it was inevitable but I am extremely grateful for how quickly they got here and saved the house," Ackerman said.
This was the first call for the Meriden Volunteer Fire Department's brand-new Engine 3 which was just delivered Thursday after being built in Cornish by Dingee Fire Machinery
Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos was out grocery shopping when he heard the first alarm struck and he arrived shortly after the first of his fire trucks pulled up to the scene.
One of the first reports confirming the blaze had come from the control tower at the nearby Lebanon Airport which could see a large column of smoke rising from the hillside above one of their runways.
Smoke from the barn fire could be seen clear from Vermont
"I got here a couple of minutes after my first due engine and they had fire showing from the upper level of the barn and did a rapid knockdown," the chief explained.
Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos was in charge of the operation
"We hit it with 'Blitzfires,' they are two-and-a-half inch deck guns that we can rapid deploy off the back of the truck. We take the thousand gallons of water we have in each of our two engines just to see how much fire we can knock down in order to keep it from extending into the house, which is what they were able to do. The guys did a great job of keeping it out of that corner of the house."
Engines and firefighters from Lebanon, Hanover, Hartford, Meriden, and Plainfield responded
A filling point with porta-tanks was set up at the nearby Martin Brook condo complex, which has a 10,000 gallon cistern
Lebanon Fire Captain Andy White soaks the charred lawn tractor down with firefighting foam
Lebanon Police Officer Emily Winslow directed traffic on Poverty Lane
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